“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” ~ Benjamin Spock, Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care …
Benjamin is right, we do know more than we think we do; however, too often in life, we do not trust ourselves or give ourselves enough credit. Yet once we are able to recognize the truth in his statement, trusting ourselves becomes countless times easier for us to accept and employ in our lives, and eventually we can begin to convince others of this same truth.
For years, my wife had issues with anxiety. She would often times convince herself that she was suffering specific conditions, and would create or add unnecessary stress in her life. This stress led her to experience many of the ailments she further experienced, culminating in a predictable spiral. One thing that bothered me was that she never trusted herself–she always wanted to get a doctor’s opinion on everything, and then when a doctor told that she was healthy and fine, she was not satisfied. I tried to convince her that she did not always need a doctor’s opinion–that she understands her body better than anyone else does and she should trust it to function as it was created–this includes eating healthy foods, maintaining a good level of activity, and finding time to relax and remove the anxiety and stress she was placing on herself. In doing so, she would not experience so many false-positives and would know when something truly is wrong and would be able to then seek a doctor for advice. Eventually she overcame her anxiety, which honestly was not due to any single thing I said, but through persistent support and reminding her that she was able to control and master her anxiety.
Dr. Spock’s advice can be applied to so many aspects of our daily lives. How many parents are not able to be advocates or positive role models to their children? How many cannot discipline their child or teach them responsibility because they are unsure of their effectiveness or afraid to lose their friendship? How many doctors have prescribed the wrong medication or treatment because they did not trust themselves? How many of us have not trusted ourselves and remained silent when something wrong was happening and our gut told us to act?
There are times in my life I should have trusted myself and what life had already taught me, yet I did not. Trust yourself. You have lived for a while now, and you have learned things that others have not. Having weathered storms and experienced your own journey, you are truly unique, intelligent, and insightful. Use the wisdom and knowledge you have to empower yourself to make decisions and take control of your life.
Make a positive decision today and be confident in your ability to do so.
Questions to consider:
Why do so few people truly trust themselves?
In what ways do you allow others to make decisions for you on important matters? Why might you do that?
What kinds of knowledge and experience are unique to you? How did you learn these things? How might you use them?
For further thought:
“One who doesn’t trust oneself can never truly trust anyone.” ~ Cardinal de Retz, Memoires